Two old rivals meet in Pittsburgh. The New York Giants and Pittsburgh Steelers first met in 1933 and don’t play as often as they once did since the Steelers moved to the AFC. Sunday’s game should be another classic.
What: New York Giants (8-3) at Pittsburgh Steelers (6-5)
Where: Heinz Field, Pittsburgh, PA
When: Sunday December 4th, 2016 425pmET Kickoff
Weather: 43 degrees and mostly cloudy. Light winds, 20% chance of precipitation.
Line: Steelers -6
TV: FOX Joe Buck, Troy Aikman and Erin Andrews on the sidelines
Radio: Steelers Nation Radio/WDVE Bill Hillgrove, Tunch Ilkin and Craig Wolfley on the sidelines.
Key Injuries: PIT: OUT DeAngelo Williams (knee), Darrius Heyward-Bey (foot) Questionable Chris Boswell (abdomen) NYG: OUT Marshall Newhouse (knee), Justin Pugh (knee), Brett Jones (calf), Owa Odighizuwa (knee)
2016 NFL Ranks: Giants’ Offense: Overall 22nd Rushing 31st Passing 14th . Giants‘ Defense: Overall 16th Rushing 4th Passing 23rd … Steelers’ Offense: Overall 11th Rushing 18th Passing 8th . Steelers’ Defense: Overall 18th Rushing 8th Passing 24th
AFC North Rankings: Baltimore 6-5, Pittsburgh 6-5, Cincinnati 3-7-1, Cleveland 0-12
What You Need to Know: The Steelers are now 3-0 in primetime games this season after beating the Colts last week…
What’s at Stake: The Steelers and Ravens remain tied as their Christmas Day showdown in Pittsburgh looms large. Frankly, there is little margin for error even with the Steelers facing an NFC opponent this week while Baltimore plays Miami. The Bengals are now reduced to being spoilers and the Browns are…. the Browns.
All-Time Series: Giants lead 44-29-3… New York leads in Pittsburgh 22-13-3
Series Highs: Passing: PIT Bill Nelsen 322 yards 12/11/1966 NYG Kerry Collins 333 yards 12/10/2000 Rushing: PIT Isaac Redman 147 yards 11/4/2012 NYG Joe Morris 202 yards 12/21/1985 Receiving: PIT Antwaan Randle El 149 yards 12/18/2004 NYG Homer Jones 173 yards 9/11/1966
Three Things We Need to See for a Steelers’ Victory:
Negate the No-Huddle. The New York Giants use the no-huddle offense more than any team in the NFL. This is partially why Mike Tomlin made his appeal to the fans to be loud Sunday. Eli Manning will do a lot of his communicating at the line of scrimmage and disrupting that is important. Where Keith Butler has to be on his game is in terms of substitutions. Part of the reason teams use it, is that it prevents a lot of sub packages from coming on and off the field. Butler and his coaches have to be on their games and the players have to make sure they are prepared to get on and off the field when necessary.
Protect Early and Protect Late. The Steelers’ offensive line is on pace to give up just 20 sacks this season. In order to keep that pace they will have to do an exceptional job of slowing down a physical and athletic Giants’ front. If they can keep Ben Roethlisberger nice and clean early, it gives them a chance to build a lead. That’s crucial because the Giants’ are notorious for getting pressure on opposing QBs late in games to close them out.
Don’t Chase Points Mike Tomlin. The last time the Steelers played a home game they went for two four times and failed on all of them. I like the aggressiveness of going for two early but if you fail, you can’t keep chasing points. This takes on extra emphasis Sunday with Chris Boswell likely out. The Steelers have signed kicker Randy Bullock and let’s be honest; we have no idea what to expect from him. Tomlin has to be judicious with the usage of Bullock in terms of PATs. He shouldn’t automatically think he needs to go for two.
Hard to believe the Steelers haven’t beaten the Giants in Pittsburgh since 1971. This is of course only the third time they’ve played in the Steel City however. This is a big game for both teams simply because of where they sit in their respective divisions. I think the Steelers make just enough plays defensively to escape with a win.
Steelers 27 Giants 23